Item: Use of snow fences to reduce avalanche hazards
Title: Use of snow fences to reduce avalanche hazards
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1976 International Snow Science Workshop, Banff, Alberta
Authors: H. Norem
Abstract: In Norway, roads and buildings are, in some cases, protected from avalanches by the erection of snow fences on the windward side of avalanche areas. These fences are used as protective measures either independently or combined with supporting structures in the starting zone. In the latter case, their function is to reduce the quantities of snow in avalanche areas so that supporting structures can be dimensioned to withstand a lower load than if fences were not erected. This method is especially feasible in Norway because of our particular topographical conditions. In many cases, above the avalanche areas there are plateaus extending for several kilometers with ample space to position snow fences accumulate snow without risk of avalanches. We have achieved very good results with these snow fences. They have substantially reduced the amount of snow in the starting zone, and there has been a marked decrease in the frequency of avalanches. Although snow fences are quite effective, it must be noted that, before they are erected, a thorough analysis must be made of the amount of snowfall, the prevailing winds, and the topography, in order W determine whether fences are a suitable protective measure.
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Keywords: snow fences, starting zones, topography, wind speed
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